This award is for the best crime novel – in the opinion of the judges – by a first-time author of any nationality first traditionally published in the UK in English during the judging period. ‘Best crime novel by a first-time author’ means that the author must not have had a novel of any sort traditionally published before under any name whatsoever. In the case of novels with more than one author, all the authors must meet this requirement.
Twelve year-old Esther Bianchi disappears on her way home from school in the small town of Durton - and the truth will not come easily. As the community is thrown into a state of grief and suspicion, Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels begins her investigation into the disappearance of Esther Bianchi. She questions those who knew the girl, attempting to unpick the secrets which bind them together. The girl's mother, Constance, believes that her daughter going missing is the worst thing that can happen to her. But as the search for Esther develops, she learns that things can always get worse. Ronnie is Esther's best friend and is determined to bring her home. So when her classmate Lewis tells her that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police?And who else is keeping quiet about what happened to Esther?
- Browns Books Synopsis
The CWA is a thriving, growing community and a broad church. Its membership encompasses writers of all kinds of ‘crime’ – embracing procedural, psychological, all types of thriller, cosy, noir and even supernatural and fantasy cross-over. Writers of all crime-related non-fiction, including true crime, are welcomed too. Authors are of all ages and at all stages of their careers,from young debuts to established veterans, and while the CWA is UK-based, it attracts many members from overseas.